Long story short: my team were each assigned a main focus among our daily/weekly tasks. If we completed early we’d see who else needed help, or what tasks were taking more time.

Now our new team lead has decided that there will just be collective responsibility, which means that I could choose to work on anything, or almost nothing. At least that’s how I see this change. It’s not easily traceable to see who has done what. I’m going to keep working hard but I don’t know if all of my colleagues will.

How should I flag this to the team lead? Or should I say nothing and get on? My concern is that he gets furious when work isn’t complete and now we’re all going to get it as I can’t point to my area of responsibility and show it’s done.

  • which means that I could choose to work on anything, or almost nothing..no, I don't think so. It means, the team has freedom to choose the work based on their choice, but at the end of the cycle, the work needs to be done. Any work remaining unfinished, will be treated as the teams' downside, rather than finger pointing at individuals. Mar 21, 2019 at 14:58
  • Don't you use any tools where tasks are assigned? It should be visible there if you completed 10 tasks and someone else 2.
    – Xander
    Mar 21, 2019 at 14:59
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    It’s not easily traceable to see who has done what. - that indicates the process has some issues, it's not the idea, but how it is implemented. Mar 21, 2019 at 14:59
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    @dwizum That is exactly his question, if he should or not.
    – Xander
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:03
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    There are many many important reasons why you must know who has done what work. And this goes beyond making sure everyone pulls their weight. Mar 21, 2019 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


Flagging problems is better received when accompanied by solutions. You should definitely bring your concerns to your boss, as at the end of the day it's in his best interest that the team performs.

I would avoid mentioning laziness though, perhaps use the word impediments instead. Ie: John is on Facebook all day is bad because it's accusatory, but John is on this task for several days, so he must face a blocker allows John to save face, smarten up, and put the phone down. Win-win for everyone.

With that in mind, I present you:

Quick Feedback Cycles

Have a morning stand-up meeting to see what the progress and impediments are. I'm going to highlight a few things from the Wikipedia entry, just substitute scrum for daily/weekly focus (emphasis mine):

  1. What did I do yesterday that helped the development team meet the sprint goal?
  2. What will I do today to help the development team meet the sprint goal?
  3. Do I see any impediment that prevents me or the development team from meeting the sprint goal?

This way everyone can pick their own tasks but no one can hide their laziness for long.

Additionally (and perhaps, crucially) if someone is stuck on a tasks for days at a time, someone else should notice and jump in to help them. Or, if it looks like a task won't be ready by the week's end, the team member should flag it for attention. It works wonders for self-diagnosing problems within the team, and fixing them.


Your setup is similar to agile development and as such you can borrow some functions from that development method.

As @rath mentioned, it's a good idea to do daily standups where people can say what they did yesterday, what they will be doing today and if they are blocked from anything.

To answer your questions, you can raise the issue with your manager but you need to be able to provide solutions. One solution would be the daily standups, other would be to communicate with your team members to have a meeting every week perhaps and see where you stand regarding a project. What remains to be done and where you need to focus and divide tasks accordingly.

Lastly, if you want accountability, you can push for implementing a tool like JIRA where tasks are added and assigned to specific people. This way both your team lead and you as team members can go back and see who's done what.

In the end of the day, your team leads want you to police each other. You already know who's slacking and at some point you'll have to confront them as a team to avoid getting heat from your lead.

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